Monday, January 23, 2017

Trump tracking...

2018-FEB-15 200k Russian troll tweets
NBC releases 200k Russian troll tweets. Read the sample, quite revealing...

2018-FEB-13 That Nunes memo...



Since it made the rounds, let’s do a quick review of the Nunes memo. I am not mentioning it here for the reason that it would be an exceptional instance of a problem with Trump (it is pretty consistent with what he has done before, that is; making connections that aren’t there to arrive at a conclusion that suits him). No, rather, I think it is a prime example of how the fake-news machine functions and how you can fall victim to it if you do not pay attention.

Who are the protagonists:

  • Intelligence-Security Agency (ISA)
  • Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC/FISA) : The United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC, also called the FISA Court) is a U.S. federal court established and authorized under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) to oversee requests for surveillance warrants against foreign spies inside the United States by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies. 
  • Carter Page : volunteer advisor to the Trump presidential campaign which DOJ/FBI have received surveillance authorization for 
  • Christopher Steele : Steele was a longtime FBI source who was paid by the DNC and Clinton campaign, via the law firm Perkins Coie and research firm Fusion GPS, to obtain information on Donald Trump's ties to Russia.
  • DOJ : U.S Department of Justice
  • FBI : U.S Federal Bureau of Investigation

First, what the memo states and what it doesn't...


The disputed findings of the memo are clearly stated in the intro:

“1) raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and 2) represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the ISA process.”
It makes no claim on the investigation into Russian meddling itself and whether what is still to be revealed on what was found on Carter Page is true or not. Nor does it state whether Trump’s investigation is necessary or not.

Please read the memo in full. That is very important. Pay attention to what is factual, what are unsubstantiated inferences, and what is rhetoric. Then see whether there is enough evidence presented to derive the 2 conclusions above, as stated in the memo. Take notes along the way. Try to put any prejudice aside and assess what assumptions you have to make (if any) to make statements in the memo be considered factual or not. Highlights are mine. Green highlights are my comments.


"UNCLASSIFIED Declassifed by order of the President February 2, 2018January 18, 2018 To: HPSCI Majority Members From: HPSCI Majority Staff Subject: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Abuses at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of InvestigationPurposeThis memorandum provides Members an update on significant facts relating to theCommittee's ongoing investigation into the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and their use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (F ISA) during the 2016 presidential election cycle. Our findings, which are detailed below, 1) raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and 2) represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the ISA process.


Investigation UpdateOn October 21, 2016, DOJ and FBI sought and received a ISA probable cause order (not under Title VII) authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISC. Page is a US citizen who served as a volunteer advisor to the Trump presidential campaign. Consistent with requirements under FISA, the application had to be first certified by the Director or Deputy Director of the FBI. It then required the approval of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General (DAG), or the Senate-confirmed Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division.The FBI and DOJ obtained one initial FISA warrant targeting Carter Page and three FISA renewals from the FISC. As required by statute (50 U.S.C. §1805(d)(1)), a FISA order on an American citizen must be renewed by the FISC every 90 days and each renewal requires a separate finding of probable cause. Then-Director James Comey signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one. Sally Yates, then-Acting DAG Dana Boente, and DAG Rod Rosenstein each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of DOJ.Due to the sensitive nature of foreign intelligence activity, FISA submissions (including renewals) before the FISC are classified. As such, the public's confidence in the integrity of the FISA process depends on the court's ability to hold the government to the highest standard— particularly as it relates to surveillance of American citizens. However, the rigor in protecting the rights of Americans, which is reinforced by 90-day renewals of surveillance orders, is necessarily dependent on the government's production to the court of all material and relevant facts. This should include information potentially favorable to the target of the FISA application that is known by the government. In the case of Carter Page, the government had at least four independent opportunities before the FISC to accurately provide an accounting of the relevant facts. However, our findings indicate that, as described below, material and relevant information was omitted.
 1) The "dossier" compiled by Christopher Steele (Steele dossier) on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application. Steele was a longtime FBI source who was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign, via the law firm Perkins Coie and research firm Fusion GPS, to obtain derogatory information on Donald Trump's ties to Russia.
This infers that if that bias had been known, the judge would not have granted to warrant, which is, at best, a supposition. Furthermore, Steele's dossier was only part of the information. 
a) Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele's efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior and FBI officials.
 b) The initial FISA application notes Steele was working for a named U.S. person, but does not name Fusion GPS and principal Glenn Simpson, who was paid by a U.S. law firm (Perkins Coie) representing the DNC (even though it was known by DOJ at the time that political actors were involved with the Steele dossier). The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of—and paid by—the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information. 
2) The Carter Page FISA application also cited extensively a September 23, 2016, Yahoo Newsarticle by Michael Isikoff, which focuses on Page's July 2016 trip to Moscow. This article does not corroborate the Steele dossier because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News. The Page FISA application incorrectly assesses that Steele did not directly provide information to Yahoo News. Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo News—and several other outlets—in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS. Perkins Coie was aware of Steele's initial media contacts because they hosted at least one meeting in Washington D.C. in 2016 with Steele and Fusion GPS where this matter was discussed.
a) Steele was suspended and then terminated as an FBI source for what the FBI defines as the most serious of violations—an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI in an October 30, 2016, Mother Jones article by David Corn. Steele should have been terminated for his previous undisclosed contacts with Yahoo and other outlets in September—before the Page application was submitted to the FISC in October—but Steele improperly concealed from and lied to the FBI about those contacts.
b) Steele's numerous encounters with the media violated the cardinal rule of source handling—maintaining confidentiality—and demonstrated that Steele had become a less than reliable source for the FBI.
Steele lied to DOJ/FBI, the memo states that as a fact. But it also states that Steele was a longtime FBI source, which, one would assume, made him a reliable source to the DOJ/FBI in the past. 
 3) Before and after Steele was terminated as a source, he maintained contact with DOJ via then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, a senior DOJ official who worked closely with Deputy Attorneys General Yates and later Rosenstein. Shortly after the election, the FBI began interviewing Ohr, documenting his communications with Steele. For example, in September 2016, Steele admitted to Ohr his feelings against then-candidate Trump when Steele said he "was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not, being president." This clear evidence of Steele's bias was recorded by Ohr at the time and subsequently in official FBI files—but not reflected in any of the Page FISA applications.
Without a clear timeline of when the DOJ/FBI learned of the unreliability of all or part of Steele's intelligence, drawing conclusion of collusion is unsubstantiated inference. Occam's razor states that the simpler explanation is that the judge was presented with increasing evidence of the necessity to dig into Carter's involvement and approved the following requests on that basis. That also is an assumption, but one certainly less dependent on a concerted conspiracy
a) During this same time period, Ohr's wife was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife's opposition research, paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign via Fusion GPS. The Ohrs' relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS was inexplicably concealed from the FISC. 
4) According to the head of the FBI's counterintelligence division, Assistant Director Bill Priestap, corroboration of the Steele dossier was in its "infancy" at the time of the initial Page FISA application. After Steele was terminated, a source validation report conducted by an independent unit within FBI assessed Steele's reporting as only minimally corroborated. Yet, in early January 2017, Director Comey briefed President-elect Trump on a summary of the Steele dossier, even though it was—according to his June 2017 testimony—"salacious and unverified." While the FISA application relied on Steele's past record of credible reporting on other unrelated matters, it ignored or concealed his anti-Trump financial and ideological motivations. Furthermore, Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information. 
5) The Page FISA application also mentions information regarding fellow Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, but there is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos. The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok. Strzok was reassigned by the Special Counsel's Office to FBI Human Resources for improper text messages with his mistress, FBI Attorney Lisa Page (no known relation to Carter Page), where they both demonstrated a clear bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton, whom Strzok had also investigated. The Strzok/Lisa Page texts also reflect extensive discussions about the investigation, orchestrating leaks to the media, and include a meeting with Deputy Director McCabe to discuss an "insurance" policy against President Trump's election."

I then suggest that you read Chris Cillizza CNN article which analyses the memo. Read it in full. Take each of his statements and assess the questions they raise; is the point valid? Is it providing more clarity or just adding more inferences?


Then read Breitbart’s coverage and apply the same principles.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/02/02/memo-reveals-deep-statemedia-coordination-yahoo-news-article-cited-by-fbi-based-on-steele-leaks/


Just a few abstract with my comments:
"Memo Reveals Deep State/Media Coordination: Yahoo! News Article Cited by FBI Based on Steele Leaks"
The title itself is misleading; the memo does not factually reveal anything of the sort. What it does is to make-up a conspiracy out of mostly nothing



"The FBI and DOJ used a news article published on Yahoo! News to bolster its case for surveillance of Trump campaign associate Carter Page, deliberately omitting or unaware that the information in the article had the same source as the infamous “dossier” itself, according to the House Intelligence Committee memo released Friday."
That’s two very different claims! The highlighted text removes any credibility to the paragraph and poke a major hole in the conspiracy theory.

"If the memo’s assertions are true, the FBI and DOJ knew that the Democratic National Committee-funded Fusion GPS dossier and its author, former British spy Christopher Steele, were motivated by political bias against Donald Trump. They also likely knew that the article in question, Michael Isikoff’s September 23, 2016 “U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin,” merely repeats the information Steele made in his dossier."
False, memo doesn’t make such assertions as there no clear timeline. In fact, the information was concealed from FBI and DOJ as per the memo itself : “Steele improperly concealed from and lied to the FBI about those contacts” (referring to contact with Yahoo). Here, it seems that Breitbart just misread the memo.

"With the dossier, which also included an outlandish story of Trump committing a series of urological sex acts in a Moscow hotel, increasingly called into question, DOJ and FBI officials backed it up with Isikoff’s story explicitly denying the fact it had the exact same sourcing – Steele – and presented it as corroboration."
 "If the memo, crafted and released largely through the efforts of Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), proves true, these officials then either deliberately misled the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to get a FISA warrant against Page or were themselves unaware that Isikoff was using Steele as his own source."
Now come-on, this is like saying that they were either murderers, or not guilty at all!

My conclusion is that, at best the Nunes memo establishes that Steele was no longer a reliable source of information when he interacted with the FBI/DOJ. At worst, the whole memo is conspiracy theory along-the-lines of chemtrails and 9/11 as an inside job.

This is how fake news work: you make a bold and outrageous statement about a complex situation, pepper your argument with maybes, unsubstantiated statements, questionable associations, and frame all of the parts as being tributary to that statement. 

What is critical to understand is that the multiplication of little bits of “possible” do not make facts. Zero multiplied to the infinite, is still zero…

Additional reading material:


The Nunes Memo That Didn't Meet the Hype:If anything, it showed the Mueller investigation is on the right track.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-02-02/nunes-memo-is-a-sad-partisan-hapless-effort

Some GOP lawmakers question Trump's claim of vindication from memo

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-memo-20180204-story.html

A guide to the Nunes memo
https://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2018/02/devin-revelation


https://thinkprogress.org/carter-page-admits-he-was-an-adviser-to-the-kremlin-and-trump-a98772ccda8f/




2018-JAN-16 Any excuse to blame others...














Except everything in there clashes with the facts:
1. The Obama administration had nothing to do with this. This was planned and decided during the Bush years, mostly for security reasons (whether justified, it can be debated, but Trump doesn't really argue that point):
“This has been a long and careful process,” said Ambassador Robert Tuttle, who has led the search for a new site. “We looked at all our options, including renovation of our current building on Grosvenor Square. In the end, we realized that the goal of a modern, secure and environmentally sustainable Embassy could best be met by constructing a new facility. I’m excited about America playing a role in the regeneration of the South Bank of London.”
October 2nd, 2008. 
2. No new funds were required:
"The project has been funded entirely by the proceeds of the sale of other U.S. Government properties in London, not through appropriated funds."
https://uk.usembassy.gov/our-relationship/new-embassy/

Note that the source I am quoting is a U.S. government  web site. One would think Trump could do a bit more homework before tweeting nonsense...

2018-JAN-13 A year later, Trump is less popular
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/01/11/us/politics/trump-approval.html

2018-JAN-10 2000th lie!
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2018/01/10/president-trump-has-made-more-than-2000-false-or-misleading-claims-over-355-days/?utm_term=.547a3ab8058f

http://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/
Contrasts this with other GOP members:
http://www.politifact.com/personalities/paul-ryan/

http://www.politifact.com/personalities/mike-pence/
http://www.politifact.com/personalities/mitch-mcconnell/

2018-JAN-02 Went golfing...

http://www.trumpgolfcount.com/#services
http://www.alphr.com/politics/1008069/donald-trump-s-website-quietly-removes-hypocritical-obama-insult-from-the-code

2017-DEC-21 Tax cuts passed, and end of individual mandate sneaked in
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_Cuts_and_Jobs_Act_of_2017

2017-DEC-14 Another day, a crapload more lies...

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/14/opinion/sunday/trump-lies-obama-who-is-worse.html

2017-DEC-11 Another day, another lie...
http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/AP-FACT-CHECK-Trump-on-economy-monuments-taxes-Moore-on-women-he-knew-before-he-didn-t-/id-85a68ae7524c43c7951ce54c34c6a1ff

2017-DEC-07Another day, another lie...
"Technically, though, it's not even the biggest tax cut of the past five years.


That honor goes to the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which was actually signed into law by President Barack Obama on Jan. 2, 2013."
https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-12-07/biggest-tax-cuts-ever-nice-try-mr-president


2017-AUG-18 Another day, another lie...
"In an apparent response to the Barcelona terrorist attack on Thursday, President Trump cited an apocryphal story about turn-of-the-20th-century American Gen. John Pershing – and missed its context.
'Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught," Trump tweeted shortly after condemning the attack in Spain. "There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!'
Trump, following up on another tweet condemning the attack in Barcelona, was referring to a story he told on the campaign trail, a legend that began after Pershing served as governor of a heavily Muslim province in the Philippines from 1909 to 1913.
'He caught 50 terrorists who did tremendous damage and killed many people,' Trump said during a rally in Charleston, S.C., in February of 2016:
'And he took the 50 terrorists, and he took 50 men and he dipped 50 bullets in pigs’ blood ... And he had his men load his rifles, and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said: You go back to your people, and you tell them what happened. And for 25 years, there wasn’t a problem. Okay? Twenty-five years, there wasn’t a problem.

Yet there's no evidence this ever happened, and Pershing certainly didn't stop violence in the Philippines."

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/08/17/trump-cites-dubious-story-muslims-apparent-comment-barcelona-attack/577381001/ 
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/feb/23/donald-trump/donald-trump-cites-dubious-legend-about-gen-pershi/


2017-JUL-30 Repeal and replace is dead, get over it!

The senate has voted against repeal and/or replace. But Trump threatens to go it alone and cut the $7b a year subsidies which "subsidies, totaling about $7 billion a year, help reduce deductibles and copayments for consumers with modest incomes". This is just a mean-spirited "get back at you" attitude that is typical of Trump, and, incidentally, quite an autocratic approach. You are running Trump Corp, you are running the U.S.A, work with the system or change the system, don't bypass it!

"In apparent frustration over Friday's failure by the Senate Republican majority to pass a bill repealing parts of the Affordable Care Act, Trump tweeted: 'If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!'
(...)
But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said after the bill failed early Friday that he would move to other legislative business in the upcoming week."
http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/President-Donald-Trump-is-threatening-once-more-to-end-required-payments-to-insurance-companies-unless-lawmakers-repeal-and-replace-the-existing-health-law/id-31e3a43f7f804e7d8117503cdbd83c70

2017-JUL-12 The bill that wasn't

Excerpt from released Donald Trump's Jr's email exchanges with a Russian attorney:

"Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.
The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.
This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump — helped along by Aras and Emin."

https://www.vox.com/world/2017/7/11/15953188/donald-trump-jr-russia-emails
https://www.vox.com/2017/7/11/15953800/trump-junior-email-russia

If there was any doubt of Russia's intentions to influence the elections, and in whos favor, I guess this can be put to rest.

2017-JUN-01 The bill that wasn't
"Our tax bill is moving along in Congress, and I believe it’s doing very well."
Trump speech on paris climate agreement withdrawal.
http://www.npr.org/2017/06/01/531090243/trumps-speech-on-paris-climate-agreement-withdrawal-annotated

But, there is actually no tax bill ! Either a lie or gross incompetence from Trump


  • No tax bill has been introduced to the US House of Representatives.
  • No tax bill has been introduced to the US Senate.
  • The White House has not released a tax plan that is detailed enough for experts to assess its economic or fiscal impact."

2017-MAY-13 Trump, the catapult expert
"The steam-powered catapult systems that are being replaced have been used to launch airplanes from U.S. carriers for some six decades now. Not only are steam systems harder to maintain than electrical ones; they have a lower upper-limit during combat—meaning electrical systems can launch more aircraft in a shorter amount of time. Electrical systems can also better handle smaller aircrafts and drones compared with steam. Steam systems also put more stress on airframes, and make them more prone to corrosion. Not only that, but carriers themselves are exceedingly vulnerable to attack—meaning outfitting them with the modern defense systems is a priority."

It sounded bad to me. Digital. They have digital. What is digital? And it’s very complicated, you have to be Albert Einstein to figure it out. And I said—and now they want to buy more aircraft carriers. I said, “What system are you going to be—” “Sir, we’re staying with digital.” I said, “No you’re not. You going to goddamned steam, the digital costs hundreds of millions of dollars more money and it’s no good.” - Trump interview to Times

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/05/trump-wants-goddamned-steam-not-digital-catapults-on-aircraft-carriers/526386/?utm_source=fbb
https://www.navytimes.com/articles/trump-says-navy-should-ditch-carrier-emals
http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/05/11/trump-new-aircraft-carrier-u-s-s-gerald-ford-emals-steam-launch-catapults-navy/

2017-MAY-13




"Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe Thursday rejected assertions by the White House that FBI employees had lost faith in James Comey and that the bureau's probe into Russian election meddling was one of its most minor concerns.

'I hold Director Comey in the absolute highest regard. I have the highest respect for his considerable abilities and his integrity,' McCabe told members of the Senate intelligence committee.


    He said Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump on Tuesday, enjoyed 'broad support within the FBI and still does to this day.' He added, 'The majority, the vast majority of FBI employees enjoyed a deep, positive connection to Director Comey.'"



    2017-MAY-13 Trump fires FBI head who was investigating his team's involvement in Russia's meddling in U.S elections2017-APR-28 Trump says he thought being president would be easier than his old life
    "A new Gallup poll on Tuesday showed just 40 percent of people said Trump has made progress after 100 days when it comes to changing the way Washington works; 54 percent said he hasn’t"

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/05/03/this-poll-number-might-be-the-worst-one-yet-for-president-trump/?utm_term=.be8c2bbe9fd3
    2017-APR-28 Trump says he thought being president would be easier than his old life


    "He misses driving, feels as if he is in a cocoon, and is surprised how hard his new job is.
    President Donald Trump on Thursday reflected on his first 100 days in office with a wistful look at his life before the White House.
    'I loved my previous life. I had so many things going,' Trump told Reuters in an interview. 'This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier."

    2017-APR-28 Despite tough talk and more arrests, deportations slow under Trump

    "President Donald Trump has made cracking down on illegal immigration a centerpiece of his administration -- but so far his administration is deporting fewer people than his predecessor.

    (...)

    According to statistics from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) given to CNN, the pace of removals under Trump in his first three months lags behind even the last two years of his predecessor, when then-President Barack Obama ordered his agencies to use more discretion when it came to deporting undocumented immigrants, focusing specifically on criminals."

    2017-APR-25 State Dept. blog promotes Trump's Mar-a-Lago

    "President Donald Trump personally owns Mar-a-Lago, his private club on Florida's eastern coast. But that didn't stop the State Department, in a blog post on the United States Embassy in London's website, from touting the property.
    In a markedly promotional blog post from April 5 that could eventually benefit the President's bottom line, should it spur membership or foreign visits, the embassy writes that the property has 'become well known as the President frequently travels there to work or host foreign leaders.'"
    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/24/politics/donald-trump-mar-a-lago-state-department-blog/

    From https://uk.usembassy.gov/mar-lago-winter-white-house/



    Story was removed


    2017-APR-24 Obamacare more popular than its critics






    2017-APR-08 FIRST GOOD CALL FROM TRUMP

    Assad was testing the water, trying to see if he could get away with using sarin gas on his own people. Since Trump was buddy-buddy with Putin, and complained numerous times before that U.S.A. should not engage in Syria, this was a big policy reversal.
    But one that was necessary; tyrants needs to understand that there will be consequences to their actions.
    Actually, upon more thinking about this, that might well be the best way to set dictatorship straight; intervening when a dictator goes too far, and hopefully, over time, making the dictatorship untenable. 

    Bombing North Korea's nuclear facilities seem like the next logical step and Trump has already warned Xi Jingping that if he doesn't do anything, the U.S. will.

    "On Thursday night, the US launched a salvo of 59 cruise missiles on Shayrat airfield and nearby Syrian military infrastructure in response to the chemical attack that killed at least 80 people in the northwestern part of the country on Tuesday."
    http://www.businessinsider.com/assad-chemical-weapons-attack-testing-trump-2017-4

    "Russian President Vladimir Putin regards the US attacks on Syria as 'an aggression against a sovereign state in violation of the norms of international law, and under a trumped-up pretext at that,' Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted in Russian state-run news agency Sputnik
    (...)
    The Saudi Foreign Ministry expressed its 'full support ... for the American military operations on military targets in Syria,' according to a statement from the Saudi Press Agency.
    (...)

    Government spokesman Mohammad Momani said Jordan considers the strike 'a necessary and appropriate response to the non-stop targeting of innocent civilians' with weapons of mass destruction.

    Jordan reiterated its rejection and condemnation of the use of weapons of mass destruction, including the recent chemical attack against civilians in Khan Sheikhoun in Syria's Idlib province

    (...)


    ''We welcome the US operation,' said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusogulu.

    Turkey called the airstrikes 'a positive response to the Assad regime's war crimes.'

    (...)

    Iran 'strongly condemns' the military strike, said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi in the country's semi-official news agency ISNA

    (...)

    'China always opposes the use of force in international affairs and we advocate resolving disputes peacefully through dialogues... We always hold that the Syrian issue should be resolved through political means.'

    (...)

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said said Australia 'strongly supports the swift and just response of the US' to the chemical attack in Idlib province

    (...)

    The Prime Minister of Israel account tweeted that 'Israel fully supports President Trump's decision.'

    (...)

    'The Japanese government supports the US government's resolve that it will never tolerate the spread and use of chemical weapons,' Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters
    (...)
    'The UK Government fully supports the US action, which we believe was an appropriate response to the barbaric chemical weapons attack launched by the Syrian regime, and is intended to deter further attacks,' a UK government spokesperson said in a statement
    "
    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/07/world/syria-us-strike-world-reaction/index.html

    "Trudeau spoke with U.S. President Trump on Friday morning. According to a readout of that call circulated by the Prime Minister's Office, Trudeau told Trump that Canada fully supports the 'limited and focused action to degrade the Syrian regime's ability to conduct chemical weapons attacks'"
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-canada-airstrikes-syria-1.4060061

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/07/politics/new-satellite-imagery-of-bombed-syrian-base/index.html

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-bashar-al-assad-syria-airstrikes-missile-a7671421.html

    2017-MAR-24 RYAN PULLS HEALTH CARE BILL

    "House Speaker Paul Ryan sensationally pulled his Obamacare repeal bill from the floor Friday afternoon, a day after President Donald Trump had threatened to walk away from health care reform if he didn't get a vote.
    (...)

    The decision to delay the vote marks an acute embarrassment for the President, who had gambled big by presenting holdout House conservatives with a take-it-or-leave it ultimatum Thursday night and put his own credibility on the line.

    But Trump repeatedly pointed the finger directly at Democrats, who all opposed the measure, rather than at his own party, which holds a significant majority in the House.

    'We had no Democratic support,' he said. 'I've been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we could do, politically speaking, is let Obamacare explode. It's exploding right now.'
    (...)
    'We came up short,' Ryan told reporters. 'We are going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.' "
    "According to the March 13-23 poll, 49 percent of American adults said the AHCA was 'not an improvement' over Obamacare, which helped about 20 million people get insurance coverage. Another 33 percent said the Republican bill was "an improvement" over Obamacare, and the remaining 18 percent did not know"




    2017-MAR-22 SURREAL INTERVIEW

    President Trump's Interview With TIME on Truth and Falsehoods




    2017-MAR-16 TRUMP BUDGET
    Put more money where none's needed, and cut along ideological lines...
    (and shows that Americans will pay for that wall afterall)
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/trump-presidential-budget-2018-proposal/

    2017-MAR-13 Sean Spicer denies wiretapping means wiretapping



    “If you look at the president's tweet, he said very clearly, quote, 'wire tapping' — in quotes,” Spicer said during Monday's news briefing, making air quotes with his fingers to emphasize his point. “There's been substantial discussion in several reports. … There's been reports in the New York Times and the BBC and other outlets about other aspects of surveillance that have occurred. The president was very clear in his tweet that it was, you know, 'wire tapping' — that spans a whole host of surveillance types of options.

    This is quite a remarkable standard Spicer is trying to set for his boss. None of the “several reports” Spicer referenced actually claim that Trump or his aides were wiretapped, despite claims to the contrary. Fox News Channel's Steve Doocy said on the air Monday morning that “there's no doubt about the fact that at least Michael Flynn was wiretapped,” and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said on CNN a short time later that “we know that General Flynn was wiretapped.”

    Wrong. The Washington Post reported last month that pre-inauguration phone calls between Flynn, who resigned as national security adviser, and Russia's ambassador to the United States were intercepted by U.S. intelligence agencies because the ambassador was wiretapped. That's a key distinction that the president's aides and media boosters seem determined to obscure.

    If Trump has evidence that Flynn or anyone else on his team was bugged, he has not produced it, and news reports do not support his charge against Obama."

    2017-MAR-13 CBO and JCT estimate that enacting the American Health Care Act would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion over the coming decade and increase the number of people who are uninsured by 24 million in 2026 relative to current law

    "CBO and JCT estimate that enacting the legislation would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion over the 2017-2026 period. That total consists of $323 billion in on-budget savings and $13 billion in off-budget savings. Outlays would be reduced by $1.2 trillion over the period, and revenues would be reduced by $0.9 trillion.

    The largest savings would come from reductions in outlays for Medicaid and from the elimination of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) subsidies for nongroup health insurance. The largest costs would come from repealing many of the changes the ACA made to the Internal Revenue Code—including an increase in the Hospital Insurance payroll tax rate for high-income taxpayers, a surtax on those taxpayers’ net investment income, and annual fees imposed on health insurers—and from the establishment of a new tax credit for health insurance"

    "CBO and JCT estimate that, in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under the legislation than under current law. Most of that increase would stem from repealing the penalties associated with the individual mandate. Some of those people would choose not to have insurance because they chose to be covered by insurance under current law only to avoid paying the penalties, and some people would forgo insurance in response to higher premiums.

    Later, following additional changes to subsidies for insurance purchased in the nongroup market and to the Medicaid program, the increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number under current law would rise to 21 million in 2020 and then to 24 million in 2026. The reductions in insurance coverage between 2018 and 2026 would stem in large part from changes in Medicaid enrollment—because some states would discontinue their expansion of eligibility, some states that would have expanded eligibility in the future would choose not to do so, and per-enrollee spending in the program would be capped. In 2026, an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law"





    2017-MAR-07 The Office of Government Ethics isn't happy with the White House's decision not to punish top aide Kellyanne Conway

    "OGE Director Walter Shaub told the White House in a letter Thursday that he remains concerned with Conway's "misuse of position."

    In an interview on Fox News Channel on Feb. 9, Conway raved about Ivanka Trump merchandise and encouraged viewers to 'go buy Ivanka's stuff.' A day earlier, President Trump had attacked Nordstrom department stores for dropping his daughter's line of clothes and accessories.

    The ethics office recommended discipline because federal rules prohibit executive branch employees from endorsing products. The White House concluded that she was speaking 'in a light, off-hand manner while attempting to stand up for a person she believed had been unfairly treated.'"


    2017-MAR-07 Republican health plan doesn't deliver health care
    "Ryancare doesn't give the neediest families enough help to afford decent insurance while blowing a substantial chunk of change on families who don't really need much help"
    http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/7/14840646/ahca-marginal-tax-rates-poor

    http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/The-House-GOP-health-bill-would-cut-more-than-20-taxes-enacted-under-President-Barack-Obama-s-heath-law-saving-mostly-wealthy-taxpayers-nearly-600-billion-over-the-next-decade/id-ad41408df52041b4be94a7e449b851f3
    http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/03/white-house-admits-insurance-is-not-really-the-end-goal
    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/03/the-biggest-criticism-of-paul-ryans-health-care-pitch/519138/

    "Everybody has to be covered (...) I'm going to take care of everybody () The government is going to pay for it"
    - Donald Trump, before the election
    https://youtu.be/TPJfKdp3bDs


    "House Speaker Paul Ryan, the Republican plan's top backer in Congress, said he is 'certain' that the CBO will show a reduction in the number of Americans with coverage.
    'You know why? Because this isn't a government mandate,' Ryan told NBC's Meet the Press"
    - Paul Ryan, after the election
    http://www.reuters.com/article/usa-obamacare-idUSL2N1GP0BD


    Chart below brilliantly shows how Trump-care fails to achieve the goal of improving coverage by penalizing people who need subsidized coverage the most (the older, and poorer)






    2017-MAR-04 Trump Takes Credit for 2013 Exxon Plans


    "President Donald Trump is again citing corporate investments planned before he took office as evidence that his policies are growing jobs and business.

    'We are already winning again, America!' he tweeted Monday after Exxon Mobil announced the latest details of an expansion initiative that actually began in 2013. 'Buy American & hire American are the principals at the core of my agenda, which is: JOBS, JOBS, JOBS,' he said in another tweet thanking Exxon Mobil for the announcement.
    It's the latest in a string of corporate announcements about jobs and investments that date back to plans companies largely made when Barack Obama was president."
     
     
    2017-MAR-04 Trump's rally, 'Spirit of America" 2nd day 
     "Their predictions appeared to be correct, as they were on Monday when similar rallies were held. In many towns and cities, the rallies did not draw more than a few hundred people, and some were at risk of being outnumbered by small groups of anti-Trump protesters that gathered to shout against the rallies"

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-supporters-idUSKBN16B0O8



    2017-MAR-02 Pence used AOL email on governor business, got hacked

    "Vice President Mike Pence routinely used a personal AOL account for sensitive state business, including discussions about homeland security issues, while he was governor of Indiana, the Indianapolis Star reported Thursday.

    One of the emails, obtained through a public records request, relayed an update from the FBI regarding the arrests of several men on federal terror-related charges, the newspaper reported. While the arrangement doesn't violate Indiana law, the state requires all records dealing with state business to be retained and available for public information requests"


    2017-FEB-28 Trump's rally 'Spirit of America" seems to indicate faltering support
     "An estimated 200 people came out for the Spirit of America Rally on the west steps of the Colorado State Capitol building on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, in Denver to show support for President Donald Trump"
    http://www.denverpost.com/2017/02/27/rally-support-trump-colorado-capitol/
    http://denver.cbslocal.com/2017/02/27/trump-supporters-gather-for-spirit-of-america-rally/

    "In Brea, California, in traditionally conservative Orange County, about 60 people stood outside a shopping mall chanting 'Build the wall' and 'God bless America, God bless Donald Trump' and carrying sings that read 'Trump loves you' and 'Trump all the way.'"
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-supporters-idUSKBN1661CM

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/2/27/1638350/-Check-out-these-massive-pro-Trump-rallies-around-the-country-today-Sad

    2017-FEB-23 Donald Trump Obliterates the Deficit!

    "The media has not reported that the National Debt in my first month went down by $12 billion vs a $200 billion increase in Obama first mo. "
    -Donald Trump on Tweeter

    True data but Donald doesn't mention that he has nothing to do with this, and that a month is anyway irrelevant.

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/02/donald-trump-obliterates-deficit

    2017-FEB-23 US private prison program rebooted by Trump administrationThe gigantic failure which was the U.S.'s for-profit private prison system, gets rebooted by Trump's administration, after having been dismantled by Obama.

    "Jeff Sessions, Trump’s attorney general, on Thursday rescinded a six-month-old directive for the Federal Bureau of Prisons to wind down contracts with prison companies, claiming that the measure had 'impaired the bureau’s ability to meet the future needs of the federal correctional system'
    (...)
    Sally Yates, then the deputy attorney general, said in a memo that research had found private prisons 'simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources' and 'do not save substantially on costs' either. Essential government education and training programs for prisoners 'have proved difficult to replicate and outsource' in the private sector, she said"

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/23/trump-revives-private-prison-program-doj-obama-administration-end

    Additional information:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/proof-mass-incarceration-doesnt-reduce-crime_us_56255cfbe4b08589ef489a3d
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/02/the-many-causes-of-americas-decline-in-crime/385364/


    "...concludes that over-harsh criminal justice policies, particularly increased incarceration, which rose even more dramatically over the same period, were not the main drivers of the crime decline. In fact, the report finds that increased incarceration has been declining in its effectiveness as a crime control tactic for more than 30 years. Its effect on crime rates since 1990 has been limited, and has been non-existent since 2000.

    More important were various social, economic, and environmental factors, such as growth in income and an aging population. The introduction of CompStat, a data-driven policing technique, also played a significant role in reducing crime in cities that introduced it.

    The report concludes that considering the immense social, fiscal, and economic costs of mass incarceration, programs that improve economic opportunities, modernize policing practices, and expand treatment and rehabilitation programs, all could be a better public safety investment"
    https://www.brennancenter.org/publication/what-caused-crime-decline
    2017-FEB-23 Nuclear arsenal, trying to solve a non-issue
    “ 'I am the first one that would like to see ... nobody have nukes, but we’re never going to fall behind any country even if it’s a friendly country, we’re never going to fall behind on nuclear power. It would be wonderful, a dream would be that no country would have nukes, but if countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack', Trump said
    (...)
    The new strategic arms limitation treaty, known as New START, between the United States and Russia requires that by February 5, 2018, both countries must limit their arsenals of strategic nuclear weapons to equal levels for 10 years"
    Countries by estimated total nuclear warhead stockpile



    2017-FEB-23 Air Force Stumped by Trump's Claim of $1 Billion Savings on Jet
    "The Air Force can’t account for $1 billion in savings that President Donald Trump said he’s negotiated for the program to develop, purchase and operate two new Boeing Co. jets to serve as Air Force One"
    https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-02-22/air-force-stumped-by-trump-s-claim-of-1-billion-savings-on-jet


    ------------------------
    This guy had a similar idea:
    https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/
    ---------------------------

    2017-FEB-18 Nothing happened "last night in Sweden"

    "Here's the bottom line. We've got to keep our country safe. You look at what's happening. We've got to keep our country safe. You look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this. Sweden. They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible. You look at what's happening in Brussels. You look at what's happening all over the world. Take a look at Nice. Take a look at Paris.."
    - Donald Trump. Rally in Melbourne, Florida
    http://www.vox.com/2017/2/18/14659952/trump-transcript-rally-melbourne-florida

    Nothing happened "last night" in Sweden.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/19/politics/trump-rally-sweden/index.html
    http://www.harpersbazaar.co.uk/culture/culture-news/news/a39992/donald-trump-makes-up-story-about-terror-attack-in-sweden/
    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-clarifies-remarks-on-sweden-i-got-it-from-fox-news-story/ar-AAn716Y?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

    2017-FEB-17 One more lie, why?

    "We got 306, because people came out and voted like they’ve never seen before, so that’s the way it goes. It was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan.”
    - Donald Trump in a press conference in the White House East Room, Feb 17th


    "The president earned 306 electoral votes, but technically received only 304 after two electors defected. Three hundred and six is fewer than the electoral votes earned by the winners in 2012 (332), 2008 (365), 1996 (379), 1992 (370) and 1988 (426). NBC News reporter Peter Alexander brought this fact up to the president.

    'I was talking about Republican,' said Trump.

    When Alexander cited George H. W. Bush’s numbers, Trump said, 'I was given that information, I don’t know. We had a very, very big margin.' He added, 'Actually I’ve seen that information around. But it was a very substantial victory, would you agree with that?'

    'You’re the president,' replied Alexander."



    https://mobile.twitter.com/CNN/status/832313547128451075/photo/1
    Watch the exchange here:
    https://mobile.twitter.com/CNN/status/832313098887450625

    Now, it is nearly impossible that Trump wouldn't have done some very basic check even before he got elected and fully understand that his victory was by a small margin and nowhere near a landslide that would have warranted a comparison with Reagan's.
    It seems consistent with his strategy to keep lying and hope that his supporter will keep discounting truth in favor of the "media is against me" conspiracy.

    2017-FEB-09 Oversight chairman requests ethics review of Kellyanne Conway

    "The Republican and Democratic heads of the House Committee On Oversight and Government Reform filed a letter on Thursday requesting the independent government watchdog begin a review of President Donald Trump's counselor following her endorsement of Ivanka Trump's fashion line
    (...)

    In a letter to the Office of Government Ethics, Reps. Jason Chaffetz and Elijah Cummings wrote that they had "extremely serious concerns" that Kellyanne Conway violated federal ethics rules when she appeared on Fox News on Thursday and explicitly endorsed Ivanka Trump's fashion line"
    http://www.businessinsider.com/jason-chaffetz-ethics-review-kellyanne-conway-ivanka-trump-2017-2
    http://www.businessinsider.com/kellyanne-conway-go-buy-ivankas-stuff-2017-2
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/5/2635.702
    http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/2/9/14569590/kellyanne-conway-ivanka-trump-chaffetz
    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2017/02/09/house-oversight-committee-chairman-kellyanne-conways-promotion-of-ivanka-trumps-products-is-unacceptable-n2283752



    2017-FEB-13 Trump security adviser Flynn resigns after leaks suggest he tried to cover up Russia talks
    "The US national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned late Monday amid a flow of intelligence leaks that he had secretly discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador to Washington and then tried to cover up the conversations.

    The resignation, with the Trump era less than four weeks old, is the latest and most dramatic convulsion in the most chaotic start to an administration in modern US history"


    2017-FEB-10 Appeals court upheld travel ban freeze
    "To arrive at that decision, the appeals court did something close to what fact-checkers, journalists, scholars and others do every day when Trump and his surrogates make extraordinary claims: It demanded extraordinary evidence — or at least some evidence — for the administration’s arguments.

    And it got none, the judges said.

    The court asked the government to explain the “urgent need” for the order to be restored, but Justice Department lawyers offered 'no evidence,' the opinion read.
    It asked for evidence in the form of legal precedents that noncitizens affected by the order 'have no rights' under the Constitution. The court found the government’s examples unconvincing.

    It also asked for evidence that immigrants from the countries named in Trump’s order had committed terrorist attacks in the United States. Instead, the government merely argued that the court 'must not review its decision at all,' according to the opinion.
    In court papers, the government argued that the president’s authority to suspend immigration was “unreviewable,” meaning the court couldn’t check his power. That seemed to alarm the judges.

    'There is no precedent to support this claimed unreviewability,' the opinion read, 'which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.'"
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/02/10/travel-ban-ruling-in-court-as-on-twitter-trump-confronts-problem-of-no-evidence-for-claims/?utm_term=.12cc420423cf&wpisrc=nl_most-draw16&wpmm=1

    2017-FEB-07 Murder rate; Trump doubling-down on lies
    "I'd say that in a speech and everybody was surprised because the press doesn't like to tell it like it is (...)
    It wasn't to their advantage to say that. The murder rate is the highest it's been in I guess 45-47 years."
    Donald Trump, during a meeting with US sheriffs at the White House

    The media wouldn't say that, because that's not true.

    While there was a small 3.9% increase in violent crime in 2015 (data here from the "fake news?" FBI), on the contrary, murder rate is actually at over 40 years low.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/07/politics/donald-trump-murder-rate-fact-check/
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2017/02/07/trump-makes-false-statement-about-u-s-murder-rate-to-sheriffs-group/?utm_term=.82bc571154a7


    2017-FEB-06 Trump's FSS targets net neutrality

    Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.

    "In his first days as President Trump’s pick to lead the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai has aggressively moved to roll back consumer protection regulations created during the Obama presidency.

    Mr. Pai took a first swipe at net neutrality rules designed to ensure equal access to content on the internet."




    2017-FEB-06 When is a ban not a ban, or is it?

    "That’s not a ban" Sean Spicer, about Trump's Executive Order to ban people from 7 countries

    But then, in Trump's own Tweets:



    Oh, seems that it is a ban after all...
    Which is not surprising because Trump actually asked Gulliani to implement a Muslim ban that would be "legal". You can hear it here in Rudy's own words.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/giuliani-muslim-ban_us_588e25fce4b0b065cbbca59f
    (Note that Gulliani's "substantial evidences that these countries are sending terrorists", is, of course, bull. As explained below and risks assessment from Cato here)
    But wait, didn't Obama do the same? Nope...
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/01/30/obama-rejects-comparison-between-trumps-immigration-policy-and-his-own-encourages-protests/?utm_term=.f35e32076d5d&wpisrc=al_alert-COMBO-politics%252Bnation

    "Trump’s comparison of his immigration actions to Obama’s policy in 2011 is a faulty one. The fact is that the Obama administration was responding to a known and specific threat from one country and limited its response to refugees from that country, while Trump’s order temporarily bans refugees from all countries — indefinitely in the case of those from Syria — and temporarily bars all other visitors from seven predominately Muslim countries"
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/30/fact-check-trump-refugee-policy-comparison-obama/97247418/

    Then, it is not a Muslim ban, but Christian will be given priority...

    Wouldn't that be offensive and unconstitutional? What do you think, Mr. Vice-President?


    Attorney General Sally Yates, doing her duty of check and balance, refused to enforce the ban, on the same basis raised by Pence:

    "My responsibility is to ensure that the position of the Department of Justice is not only legally defensible, but is informed by our best view of what the law is after consideration of all the facts," she said in a letter. "In addition, I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution's solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right"
    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/30/politics/donald-trump-immigration-order-department-of-justice/

    This got her fired.

    Then, George W. Bush appointed judge James Robart "a federal judge in the state of Washington ordered a nationwide temporary restraining order against Donald Trump’s 'Muslim ban'"
    http://reverbpress.com/justice/watch-excruciating-moment-trumps-argument-muslim-ban-falls-apart-court-video/

    Trump got into a hissy fit and issued these:


    Therein lies the problem; he seems oblivious to the fact that separation of powers is germane to the concept of a healthy Democracy and key to the protection of the constitution.

    Trump, via the justice department, tried to appeal the judge's decision, and failed.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/05/travel-ban-white-house-files-appeal-against-ruling-as-trump-says-well-win

    Proving the U.S. democracy is stronger than any single of its constituents, which is something we can all take solace in.

    Additional info:
    http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/31/14455986/trump-not-a-ban-spicer



    2017-FEB-05 Cozying up to Russia. A concept GOP is uneasy with

    Read and watch:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trump-s-russia-u-s-comparison-rejected-democrats-republicans-n717071

    That is because Trump equates being tough, and being effective and smart. So, Putin is tough, then he must be effective and smart. But effective at what? In Putin's case, staying in power via undemocratic means, annexing neighboring countries, etc

    Again here, it is all about ego; Trump sees himself in Putin's image to the world and he likes it. I don't think Trump has spend a minute checking into Putin's actions.

    2017-FEB-05 Bernie Sanders: Trump is a ‘fraud’ for cozying up to Wall Street

    Meant for the Sanders supporter that voted Trump because "at least he won't be cozy-up to Wall-Street like Hillary would"...

    "This guy ran for president of the United States saying, 'I, Donald Trump, I’m going to take on Wall Street. These guys are getting away with murder,' Sanders said. 'And then, suddenly, he appoints all these billionaires. His major financial adviser comes from Goldman Sachs. And now he is going to dismantle legislation that protects consumers.”
    http://nypost.com/2017/02/05/bernie-sanders-trump-is-a-fraud-for-cozying-up-to-wall-street/?utm_campaign=partnerfeed&utm_medium=syndicated&utm_source=flipboard

    I don't have a problem myself with pro-business policies. But I do have a problem with liars...
    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/02/trump-dodd-frank/515646/
    http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38858009

    2017-FEB-02 Trump Vows to ‘Destroy’ Law Banning Political Endorsements by Churches

    "WASHINGTON — President Trump vowed on Thursday to overturn a law restricting political speech by tax-exempt churches, a potentially huge victory for the religious right and a gesture to evangelicals, a voting bloc he attracted to his campaign by promising to free up their pulpits.
    Mr. Trump said his administration would 'totally destroy' the Johnson Amendment, a 1954 law that prohibits churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates at the risk of losing their tax-exempt status.
    'Freedom of religion is a sacred right, but it is also a right under threat all around us,' Mr. Trump told religious leaders at the National Prayer Breakfast. 'That is why I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution.'"

    Trump now pandering to evangelicals and threatening the all important separation of church and state.
    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/02/02/us/politics/trump-johnson-amendment-political-activity-churches.html


    2017-FEB-01 Obamacare more popular than ever














































    But since Donald J. Trump, who promised to repeal the law, was elected president, that long-held pattern has begun to shift. In a variety of recent polls, with questions asked in different ways, more Americans are now saying they favor Obamacare than oppose it
    (...)


    The Pew Research Center has found that, for the first time since 2007, a majority of Americans believe it should be the federal government’s responsibility to make sure Americans have health insurance.
    Pew found a big shift among low-income Republican voters, a key Trump constituency and a group that has benefitted substantially from the health law"


    2017-JAN-27 Donald Trump on Friday ordered "new vetting measures" to keep "radical Islamic terrorists" out of the United States

    "We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas. We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country and love deeply our people"
    "...a draft of the order called for suspending the issuing of visas to people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for at least 30 days"

    http://hosted2.ap.org/apdefault/3d281c11a96b4ad082fe88aa0db04305/Article_2017-01-27-US--Trump/id-f3156bbc758043a79be37dc5aed81fe0

    Meanwhile, in the real world:
    It seems that less than a handful of the perpetrators of terrorists acts on U.S soil in the past 40 years were from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen...
    Yet, Saudi Arabia, a state sponsor of radical Islam, is absent from the list.

    Furthermore:

    "Regardless of the type of terrorist attack — jihadist or right-wing — the overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks are committed by US-born citizens"



    http://www.vox.com/2015/11/23/9765718/domestic-terrorism-threat
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2015/dec/29/what-citizenship-status-terrorists-united-states/

    More stats from the libertarian CATO institute:

    “From 1975 through 2015, the chance of an American being murdered by a foreign-born terrorist was 1 in 3,609,709 a year.”




    https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa798_1_1.pdf

    2017-JAN-25 EPA information suppression averted due to backlash

    "Trump administration officials appear to have walked back plans to scrub climate change references from U.S. EPA's website.


    'We've been told to stand down,' an EPA employee told E&E News today. That new directive comes after staff were told yesterday to remove the agency's climate change page from its website, worrying climate change activists and sending data specialists scrambling to download files."



    If Science doesn't fit your alt-reality, prevent information from circulating seems to be the motto...

    2017-JAN-25 A Trump Tracker

    Interesting turn of events. Lets see if this is just one more of his bait and switch tactics...

    2017-JAN-25 A Trump Tracker
    http://www.track-trump.com/



    2017-JAN-24 Peddling more lies about voter fraud
    Trump lost the popular vote by about 3 million votes (about 2% points). This seems to irritate him greatly and instead of moving on, he would rather change reality to make it a win...

    "The President does believe that, I think he's stated that before, and stated his concern of voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign and continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence people have brought to him" - White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Monday Jan 23rd, 2017






    No evidences were brought forward. Basically because there are none that support the burden of proof.

    The research and actual recounts show that while there is fraud, it is insignificant:

    "Even given allegations that were unsubstantiated, the rate of possible fraud remains low. (...) 0.045% within St. Louis City and County (...)
    The allegations of fraud related to the 2004 general election, in which 3,611,691 votes were cast in New Jersey.189. There were eight substantiated cases of individuals knowingly casting invalid votes—eight voters voting twice. This amounts to a rate of 0.0004%. None of these problems could have been resolved by requiring photo ID at the polls"

    https://www.brennancenter.org/publication/truth-about-voter-fraud

    "A News21 analysis of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases since 2000 shows that while fraud has occurred, the rate is infinitesimal, and in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which prompted 37 state legislatures to enact or consider tough voter ID laws, is virtually non-existent"
    http://votingrights.news21.com/article/election-fraud/

    Even Trump's laywers, when attempting to oppose Jill Stein's recount efforts, stated:
    "All available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake"

    Completed recounts in Wisconsin, Nevada, have yielded virtually no changes in the results.

    It seems that Trump's source is a single report claiming important non-citizen voting. But this report's has been discredited due to the methodology used.

    "The example for this analysis is Richman et al. (2014), which presents a biased estimate of the rate at which non-citizens voted in recent elections. The results, we show, are completely accounted for by very low frequency measurement error; further, the likely percent of non-citizen voters in recent US elections is 0"



    Now, for the believers in this conspiracy, just ask yourself; if Trump believes there's massive voter fraud, why isn't he having it investigated?


    2017-JAN-23 Blocks funding to international family-planning organizations unless they agree not to promote abortion

    The “Mexico City Policy” prohibits non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive U.S. funds – including International Planned Parenthood – from providing or promoting abortions, as a method of family planning, overseas. The policy also bans these organizations from advocating for the passage of pro-abortion laws in other countries.




    http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/89/12/11-091660/en/ (research showing that the policy increases the number of abortions)





    2017-JAN-23 Trump releasing his tax returns; not going to happen


    Every candidate, for the past 40 years, have released their tax returns.
    They can be found there: http://www.taxhistory.org/www/website.nsf/web/presidentialtaxreturns

    Trump has committed numerous times on releasing his tax returns:

    "I’d love to give my tax returns. I may tie my tax returns into Obama’s birth certificate"

    April 19, 2011 (Obama did produce his birth certificate)


    ""if I decide to run for office, I’ll produce my tax returns, absolutely and I would love to do that" May 2014
    "MATT LAUER: Real quickly. When are you going to release your tax returns?
    TRUMP: Probably over the next few months. They’re being worked on now." Feb 10, 2016
    More exhaustive list: http://www.nationalmemo.com/showusyourtaxes-heres-every-time-donald-trump-has-said-he-would-release-his-tax-returns/

    Then, post-election...

    " 'The White House response is that he’s not going to release his tax returns,' the counselor, Kellyanne Conway, said in an interview on the ABC program 'This Week.'"

    Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-kellyanne-conway-tax-returns-will-not-release-under-audit-conflicts-of-interest-a7540621.html


    2017-JAN-20 Crowd size at inauguration; a brushed ego

    While measuring crowd size at inauguration provides an interesting data point... for 5 minutes, what is telling is the extent at which Trump so wanted his "show" to be bigger than anybody else's that he ordered his minions to question the obvious and provide "alternate facts". That's not a president with a steady hand...



    Obama's 2009 inauguration, from another angle

    Supporters have argued that the angle of the first picture was deceiving. While the logic is obviously flawed, as the best picture to assess the crowd size would be at 90 degree angle, even in the picture above, you can see part of empty sections. Can't see much of them... because of the angle!
    According to the Washington Post, transit ridership before 11am and the whole day was about the same for Trump and Bush Jr's inaugurations, less than half of Obama's 2009's.
    Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/01/20/donald-trumps-inaugural-crowds-dont-quite-measure-up-to-barack-obamas/?utm_term=.0ac25e5fdace
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/jan/21/sean-spicer/trump-had-biggest-inaugural-crowd-ever-metrics-don/
    http://wavy.com/2017/01/20/trump-draws-far-smaller-inaugural-crowd-than-obama/

    "After the National Park Service retweeted messages that negatively compared the crowd sizes at Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration to Donald Trump's inauguration Friday, representatives from the new administration asked the Interior Department's digital team to temporarily stop using Twitter -- a decision the agency now claims was out of a concern the account was hacked"
    Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/21/politics/trump-national-park-service-tweets/
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/20/interior-department-banned-from-twitter-after-retweet-of-smaller-than-usual-trump-inauguration-crowd/?utm_term=.9c21e6fd9883

    Kellyanne Conway, Trump senior advisor, tried to defend Sean Spicer's false claims about the size of the crowd:
    "CHUCK TODD:

    --answer the question of why the president asked the White House press secretary to come out in front of the podium for the first time and utter a falsehood? Why did he do that? It undermines the credibility of the entire White House press office--

    KELLYANNE CONWAY:

    No it doesn't.

    (...)

    KELLYANNE CONWAY:

    Don't be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. What-- You're saying it's a falsehood. And they're giving Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that. But the point remains--

    (...)

    CHUCK TODD:

    Four of the five facts he uttered were just not true. Look, alternative facts are not facts. They're falsehoods."
    http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/meet-press-01-22-17-n710491
    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/22/politics/kellyanne-conway-alternative-facts/index.html

    It should concern even Trump supporters that the leader of the single world's superpower gets triggered so easily, and is willing to use executive powers to bend the truth for a bruised ego. What will happen when he has to deal with actual issues with other nations? Say, if Xi Jingping noticed that Trump does have small hands and made a comment about this in the news? :-)

    But then again, it seems that a large portion of Trump supporters also do not care much about the truth:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/01/25/we-asked-people-which-inauguration-crowd-was-bigger-heres-what-they-said/?utm_term=.bafdcf91dde0